The Ancient Culture of the Mississippians Comes Alive at Cahokia
This 2,200-acre historic site was formerly the city of Cahokia. It’s the largest archaeological site related to the Mississippian culture and one of the largest earthen constructions in the Americas north of Mexico. Cahokia was inhabited from 700-1200 C.E., and the mounds we see now were built as monuments to the dead and cover a 6-mile area, situated here on the Mississippi River floodplain in west central Illinois. The area is open for hiking and climbing and exploring the remaining artifacts from when it was a thriving city.
The interpretive center for this site is excellent and really helps put the whole culture of Mississippians in perspective. Wear comfortable shoes and plan to spend a few hours to see the interpretive center and do a walking tour of the area.
The Cahokia Mounds are about a 4-hour drive from Chicago, with free admission, and it's a must-see site for anyone interested in the history of the Americas or in archaeology. This site is also a great visit for anyone who just enjoys being outside.